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Judaica juxtaposes faith and art

The Israel Museum’s Judaica exhibit left me reeling in the depth of Jewish history and finding my place within it.

Judaica and history? The kiddish cup, mezuza and tallis I had always had in my home.

With the variety of interpretations of the Judaica in front of me, I became aware of all their precedents within the chain of artistic tradition, the techniques used in its design, and the meanings of which it only carries hints.

Sometimes it refers back to a distant legend which has crystallized into a myth and given rise to an artistic tradition of its own.

Over the generations, Judaica often reflected the experiences of their owners. They would borrow whatever they could from their surroundings, joining it to forms and functions appropriate to the Jewish tradition.

Judaica is not simply an archaeological discovery, nor is it a piece of folklore, or merely an aesthetic object.

Judaica is integral to our Jewish life style and needs and evolves with us as we evolve as observant Jews into our modern world.

My visit in the museum ended with modern day Judaica echoing the contemporary minimalistic design that I have in my own home today.

Judaica juxtaposes faith and art; they are simultaneously ritual items and artistic expressions, a source for divine observance and creative inspiration.

Muli Ben Sasson

Judaica is integral to our Jewish life style and needs.

A wide range of ritual objects exist, from the functional to the decorative.

Their aesthetic value runs the gamut from cheap mass-produced items to precious artistic creations, and between the kitsch and the sublime.

Jewish tradition encouraged artistic expression to be invested in the production of such objects.

Halacha define some basic laws and principles that are to be maintained in the design of ritual objects but halacha is open to novelty of design and technical innovation.

My home collected art from every direction. In that we had Judaica representing many different worlds.

Lavish solid silver candlesticks and delicate solid silver presenting dishes represented our Poilsh origins.

Multi-colored African beaded Matza boxes and match boxes represented our African background.

On the contemporary art side we had a colorful modern minimalistic acrylic Menorah in our window, a multicolored Kiddish cup set crafted from molded metal and modern Gedolim pictures on the wall laser cut from Stainless Steel. And with the younger kids, their Judaica brought home from gan was added to our collection.

Our home engulfed only some of the vast gamut of Judaica and its influences in Jewish life and it’s history.

Our contemporary Judaica brings our observance into the modern era to enrich our mitzvos with its “Hidur Mitzvah”.

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